58As parents of babies, we all learn the importance of keeping bottoms dry. Turns out, this practice applies in other areas, too. Bellevue-based Merin Designs’ new line of stylish canvas totes just might be the perfect bag for the pool and beach in summer, the slopes in winter, and the market all year round. Merin totes feature inside pockets and a bottom panel made of water-proofed fabric. The result? No more soggy undersides.

Mother of three and Merin Designs founder Kea Rensch says the experience of schlepping too many stuffed-to-the-brim bags around inspired her to create a giant hold-all (the totes are 18.5 inches tall and 24 inches wide) that was both hip and functional. In addition to its waterproof inside pockets (great for keeping magazines dry or wet swimsuits away from other items), the bags have a clip for keys and a pocket for cell phones and iPods.

Rensch named the five versions of the tote after her fave Seattle ‘hoods — Madison, Magnolia, Laurelhurst, Meydenbauer and Belltown — and each has a stunning color combination. With summer officially here, we are smitten by the sunny disposition of the Madison, which is orange with fuchsia straps, moss green stitching and an espresso brown bottom.

Merin Designs totes are $88, and available at www.merindesigns.com

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